UNDER THE OLUMO ROCK

Many have heard of the mountain called OLUMO ROCK but only a few know the history behind the rock. The fabled Olumo Rock is not the highest mountain in the world not even in Abeokuta, the city where it is located. So what makes this rock to be a center of attraction all over the world? Why is Olumo rock a symbol of pride to the people of Abeokuta? After careful research, I have come to realize that to an extent, the popularity of Olumo Rock is not in its height, shape, or location. Rather, it is about the history attached to the rock.

OLUMO is a conjoined word, in which OLU means GOD while Mo means MOULDED. Thus the full meaning of Olumo is ‘God molded this.’ Considering the magnificence of the rock and the service it rendered, which will be further discussed, those who named the rock concluded that no man can make such a thing except God. This was how they came about the name ‘Olumo.’

The service the rock rendered dates back to precolonial era. Long time ago during the 19th century there was an intertribal war in Oyo Empire, there was this particular hunter called Adagba who made use of Olumo rock as a place of fortress all through the war. The rock served the Egba people all through the war time and also become a vantage point where they could easily view any coming enemy and prepare in advance, which always resulted into triumph.

The Egba people, a tribe from the old Oyo Empire soon turned the location of the rock into a place of abode and called the name of the geographical area ABEOKUTA, meaning ‘under the rock’ which is now the capital city of Ogun state, a state located in South-western Nigeria.

The first generations of the people that discovered Olumo rock stayed under it till their death, it was noted that a woman called Iya Orisa whose name was Mrs. Sinatu Aduke Sanni spent all her life under the rock, she Aged 133 years and witnessed Four generations of king in the land called the Alake of Egba land.

On the rock there is tree that never shed its leaf but remains flourish all through both rainy and dry seasons. The tree is said to be over 200 years. Another mysterious history about this rock is that, it is believed to produce a particular water that can cure any disease though the water had stopped for over 50 years.

Furthermore, the height of Olumo rock is 137 meters above sea level, which is about half of the Eiffle Tower located in Paris. From the top of Olumo, you can have a clear view of the whole Abeokuta city and be able to cite some monuments like the Ogun River, Baptist Boys High School, Late M.K.O family house, the First Church in Nigeria located at Ake, among others. Olumo Rock remains one of the Centers of attraction for tourist all over the world.

In conclusion, like I earlier noted, the fame of Olumo Rock is not determined by its size, height or shape but by its usefulness, its ability to serve the people when needed. My parting question for you is how useful are you to the environment you find yourself? In view of the fact that your importance is not determined by size nor by height but by the little contribution you make.

SEUN APHOR

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